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Vertical groundwater storage properties and changes in confinement determined using hydraulic head response to atmospheric tides

Acworth, R. Ian, Rau, Gabriel C., Halloran, Landon J. S. and Timms, Wendy A. 2017, Vertical groundwater storage properties and changes in confinement determined using hydraulic head response to atmospheric tides, Water resources research, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 2983-2997, doi: 10.1002/2016WR020311.

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Title Vertical groundwater storage properties and changes in confinement determined using hydraulic head response to atmospheric tides
Author(s) Acworth, R. Ian
Rau, Gabriel C.
Halloran, Landon J. S.
Timms, Wendy A.ORCID iD for Timms, Wendy A. orcid.org/0000-0002-6114-5866
Journal name Water resources research
Volume number 53
Issue number 4
Start page 2983
End page 2997
Total pages 15
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Place of publication Washington, D.C.
Publication date 2017-04
ISSN 0043-1397
1944-7973
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Limnology
Water Resources
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
LIVERPOOL PLAINS
EARTH TIDES
SURFACE
CLAY
AUSTRALIA
SYSTEMS
FLOW
SOIL
Summary Accurate determination of groundwater state of confinement and compressible storage properties at vertical resolution over depth is notoriously difficult. We use the hydraulic head response to atmospheric tides at 2 cpd frequency as a tracer to quantify barometric efficiency (BE) and specific storage (Ss) over depth. Records of synthesized Earth tides, atmospheric pressure, and hydraulic heads measured in nine piezometers completed at depths between 5 and 55 m into unconsolidated smectitic clay and silt, sand and gravel were examined in the frequency domain. The barometric efficiency increased over depth from ∼0.05 in silty clay to ∼0.15 in sands and gravels. BE for silty clay was confirmed by calculating the loading efficiency as 0.95 using rainfall at the surface. Specific storage was calculated using effective rather than total moisture. The differences in phase between atmospheric pressure and hydraulic heads at 2 cpd were ∼180° below 10 m indicating confined conditions despite the low BE. Heads in the sediment above a fine sand and silt layer at 12 m exhibited a time variable phase difference between 0° and 180° indicating varying confinement. Our results illustrate that the atmospheric tide at 2 cpd is a powerful natural tracer for quantifying groundwater state of confinement and compressible storage properties in layered formations from hydraulic heads and atmospheric pressure records without the need for externally induced hydraulic stress. This approach could significantly improve the development of conceptual hydrogeological model used for groundwater resource development and management.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/2016WR020311
Field of Research 0907 Environmental Engineering
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, American Geophysical Union
Free to Read? Yes
Free to Read Start Date 2017-11-01
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30115014

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Engineering
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.